Friday 13th March
I know it’s been a long time since the last blog, we’re still in Portimao, and it looks like we could be here for another week.
What’s so special? It’s cheap, it’s near to a large clean beach and the weather is getting better and better. You can cycle to a large supermarket (€2 for a kilo of belly strips, €4 for 2 kilos of strawberries) or to a Lidls, there is one just over the river.
Since the last blog, Lucy had her birthday. I took her out for lunch, a nice long walk along the front and then into an all day breakfast with a couple of pints of beer, of course. We had planned to eat out in one of the beach front restaurants in the evening but we were still stuffed from lunchtime.
We’ve found the launderette, it’s part of the marina and if you leave it until after lunch it gives enough time for all the Netherlanders to wash all of their orange clothing.
We did move off to an aire 6 miles away in Alvor last Friday. It was an attempt to get back on track and start heading back home and an excuse to get the batteries charged up but we hit a snag. Even before we turned into the site Lucy said “we’re not stopping here”. It was windy (Alvor is famed for it’s wind) and there was a bit of a dust storm going on. The aire itself is a bit rough although the services were pleasant enough. Cost with electric was €7 which compared very poorly with Portimao at €2.50 per night plus €2 for electric if you need it.
I booked in for just one night. We walked to the beach which was very nice but far too chilly to sit in, the town was very nice with lots of bars, cafes and touristy tat shops. Half a dozen traditional Irish bars (what is so attractive about an Irish bar other than 90c for a pint of imitation beer?).
We were very disappointed with Alvor so made our way back to Portimao via a couple of supermarkets. We spent a fortune in Continente and then another fortune in Jumbo. It was nice to see some different products on display and we found a jar of English mustard and a chunk of Stilton. The Jumbo supermarket is part of a huge shopping centre so our first impression of shopping in Portimao was a bit premature.
We returned to the aire, parked up and fairly quickly were surrounded by Italians. Huge aire so why do they have to park so close? In the end we moved, far easier than trying to speak to an Italian.
We’ve had a couple of cycle rides into town, I let Lucy get a hair cut while I did some Lidl and Aldi retail therapy, we’ve sat on the beach, walked along the beaches, and generally chilled out.
As you may know we are trying to rent our old shop out and it is getting to the final stages, the little nit picking things that Solicitors like to argue about while they watch their bills escalate. My Solicitor sent me her latest estimate – good job I have a sense of humour!! Anyway, since we have fairly decent internet here we are staying for another week – we should have booked a month in the first place, it’s only €55 for 30 days.
An odd thing happened to me when I took Frankie to the service point to empty the waste tank, There is a large group of Netherlanders all parked round the service point. It’s not a bad service point but you do get the occasional “whiff”. I pulled up and there was one van in front of me who looked like he was nearly finished so I left the engine idling. A Dutch guy came out of his van and asked me, using his finest sign language, to switch the engine off. He made it very clear that he didn’t like the smell of diesel fumes. Fair enough, I switched the engine off and opened the window to get a VERY strong whiff of the elsan. I now have a new word for the elsan point but you must say it with a Dutch accent. Pissenschittzenstinkentank. These Dutch guys have been sat around the services for a month now, I can’t work out the attraction.
Exchange rate now at €1.40 to the pound! Diesel is more expensive here than in Spain but when it’s equivalent to 89p a litre it’s almost criminal to stay in one place for a month! In fact I filled up over a month ago and the fuel gauge is still showing full.